Trying Out A New Name

I wrote just over a month ago about my anxieties about going away. It’s now less than a week until I actually go which is really exciting. I’m pumped to see my friends.

I got a message a few weeks ago from one of the friends I’m going with asking what name and pronouns I’d like to use on the trip, and saying that they’re going to ask to go by a different name and they or he pronouns. I replied with the fact that I’ve also been thinking about it a lot but still had no idea.

A week later they sent a message to the group chat saying that they’ve been going by their new name and pronouns at work and would like us to use them as well. I retreated into myself and spent the morning curled up under my duvet staring at the wall. It wasn’t that I was scared of my friends’ reactions, they responded great, it was that now I felt like I’d be the copycat, and felt pressured to make a decision on whether I actually wanted to go by a different name. I’d had a mental deadline of the end of February to decide and ask, to allow some time for people to adjust before I actually saw them in person, but the message prompted me to do some intense thinking.

I thought about how in my head I’ve been referring to myself as Jasper for a few months. How I feel so good when I look masculine. How my family using my name in public places makes me want to disappear. But how being seen as anything other than female feels like an AU version of me. How the thought of people calling me Jasper, or he, would make me feel like I’m faking.

It was a weird situation.

I voiced some of my doubts to my friend who said that just knowing who I’m not is a great start. That some AUs are better than the original. That its fine to not know.

3 days of deliberation later I decided to go ahead. To ask for them to try out this new name and pronouns, but just in our little group to see how I feel about them. I typed the message, changed it slightly, read through it, and hovered over the send button. But I couldn’t bring myself to press send, to say this seemingly irreversible thing. I had so much anxiety. In the end I hit send and turned my phone off until the next morning when I felt able to deal with the situation.

It’s been a couple of weeks. I’m feeling good. And knowing that there’s someone else in our group in a similar position in gendered situations makes me feel so much better.



Dog People, Cat People, Nonbinary People (AKA The Draft For My Facebook Coming Out)

If you ask whether someone is a Dog Person or a Cat Person, most people don’t have to think twice. They’ll immediately reply with which pet they prefer, and quite often the reasons for their affections.

Occasionally you’ll come across a person who struggles to answer the question- they love cats and dogs equally, or don’t like either. Sometimes you’ll find someone who changed from being a Dog Person to a Cat Person, or vice versa.

When I was younger I thought of myself as a Cat Person, but as I grew up I started to dislike the idea of being a Cat Person and the stereotypes that came with it. Right now I’m somewhere in the middle, leaning more towards being a Dog Person.

But why do people get so protective of what type of pet is the best? Why can you only be one? The truth is that some people don’t fit comfortably in either group.

I’m one of them.

The above could easily be about something different if certain words were changed. And it is. Its about gender.

This post is me saying that I don’t feel like I fit into the box marked Girl or the box marked Boy, but Boy feels closer. Jasper feels more like my name than Amber ever has.

Go ahead and tell me I don’t exist, tell me its just a phase. But let me ask you- would your reaction be the same if this was me saying that I feel like more of a Dog Person than a Cat Person now?

Dear Ignorant Member Of My Family

Dear family member,

Last Christmas when you were all talking about how you dress to make your boobs look bigger and I said that I didn’t understand that, that I dress to make them look smaller

Remember how you looked me in the eye and joked about me wrapping bandages around my chest? Remember how we both laughed?

You probably don’t. To you it was just a joke.

I wonder what you’d say if you knew that three months after you made that joke I bought a binder

That I love how comfortable it makes me feel in my own skin.


When I told you recently that since I’ve had my hair cut short I feel like myself, that I never liked my long hair anyway

That I now see my face on the screen or in the mirror instead of looking at a stranger

That I no longer cringe at photos of me even if they’re awful

You’re allowed to look surprised or confused, you don’t have to understand

But don’t look at me in disgust

And don’t tell me that not seeing myself in the mirror for the first 20 years of my life is something that I’m making up because “everyone gets that”

Or refuse to listen when I try to explain how this is different, how sometimes I still don’t recognise my reflection but it feels so much more right than it did before.


You watched me change from a little girl to a young woman

Will you watch me change into a boy?

Or will you tell me I’m doing it for attention, when you know that I hate having all eyes on me?

I’m not a boy, by the way

Just something similar

My gender is so much more than just pink or blue

So much more than boy or girl

My gender is turquoise and purple, lime green and obsidian

Is made of colours and concepts you wouldn’t even try to understand no matter how hard I tried to explain them to you.


Your mind is closed, and with it your heart

And that’s why I’m scared to show you mine.